A woman named Sonja took to the witness stand where she revealed that she went to R. Kelly’s studio in Chicago in anticipation of landing an interview that she believed could jump-start her career in radio.
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Sonja explained that she had met Kelly in Salt Lake City in 2003 when she was just starting off as an intern for a local radio station. She said she and her friend went to his tour bus that was stationed outside of the mall. “I just asked for an interview and he kind of pointed me in the other direction and [said], ‘Ask him,'” she recounted of Kelly pointing her in the direction of someone she believed to be his manager.
She said the interview wasn’t going to happen that day and his team was not interested in doing a phone interview or coming to the station. However, she said someone slipped a piece of paper behind her back which included Kelly’s phone number. “I was relentless, I was trying to get him to give me that interview,” she said before revealing that they did have several conversations that led to Kelly agreeing to do an interview. “They kind of led me to a Chicago trip,” she said, revealing it was Kelly who conjured up the idea.
Sonja said that Kelly’s team covered her expenses and a cab driver picked her up from the airport. She testified that the tax stopped by a gas station that she believed to be unsafe. Once she got to the studio, she said she was asked a series of odd questions. “He said, ‘Do you need protection?’ I didn’t understand the question,” she said. “That wasn’t the type of question that he was asking. He came out and said, ‘Do you need a condom?'” She replied, “No, I’m not here for that.”
From there, she claimed she was led to a room where she was asked to sign an NDA agreement — a common pattern among victim testimonies during this trial — as well as her ID and cell phone. They also asked her for the five people in her call history.
Sonja testified of the studio rules where she was told not to look up, speak to anyone, or leave the room without Kelly’s approval.
“A few minutes later, I tried to open the door,” she recalled. “Come to find out, it was locked from the outside.”
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“I was scared, for one. I was ashamed. I was embarrassed. It was beyond embarrassing,” she continued, though she initially thought it was a mistake. Afterward, she realized that the door was locked from the outside. She said she tried to use the washroom as much as possible and tried to call one of her friends who she told about the alleged kidnapping.
Sonja stated that she was locked in the studio for three or four days straight. Eventually, she was offered a tray of food and a cup of soda. “I got extremely just, full … felt extremely full and tired. I felt something coming on, like, Okay, I’m done eating,” she recalled.
“The next thing I remember [is] waking up to some commotion in the room. I was extremely confused,” she claimed. “I was looking over to my right. I see Rob. He’s pulling up his pants in the corner… There was some wet stuff between my legs and on my thighs.”
She said she woke up on the couch without any recollection of how she got from there from the chair she was sitting on. “
“I know my body. I know when something is wrong,” she alleged. “It just felt like somebody and something had been inside of [me]… I believe … I was touched sexually.”
When asked if she gave any consent to be touched sexually, she replied, “absolutely not.”
She was later allowed to leave the premises after signing another NDA which was punctuated by threatening words from the singer’s associate.
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During cross-examination, Kelly’s attorney asked if she was hungry by the time she received a small plate of food. “I was starving,” she replied.
“You said it was Chinese food,” he added. “Was it MSG?” Kelly’s attorney attempted to suggest that MSG, a flavor enhancer often misassociated with Chinese food, played a role in why she ended up feeling extremely tired. The prosecution tried to object the question before the judge asked Sonja where she has ever had MSG. “I don’t know,” Sonja said in response.
We’ll keep you updated on more information on Kelly’s trial.